Daily Devotional for Sunday December 16, 2012
They Left Praising God
***ASK BILL: Pastor Bill, what exactly is required to surrender 100% to Christ and live by faith?
ANSWER: Die to self daily. That is done by waking up praying, getting in the Word first thing, and staying "plugged in" to God throughout the day. During the day, make decisions pleasing and acceptable to God. Don't forget for one minute you are HIS ambassador. Find ways to serve Him. Trust Him with the problems you encounter throughout the day. Day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, you learn to die to self daily and live for Him instinctively.
Believe it or not, Christmas is only 9 days away! I was taught very early in life that you can learn much by watching people. In the day Jesus was born, a shepherd was the equivalent of a busboy or dishwasher in today's society. It was a very lowly position and these were not the type of people that you would think to look at as role models. Let me remind you that you can never judge a person by the house they live in, the car they drive, or the job they hold. It is our heart God sees and judges.
The shepherds on the night Jesus was born must have been pretty important men in the eyes of God because it was to those men, that He revealed the birth of His son in Bethlehem's manger that night. While there are many great spiritual lessons that you can learn from the shepherds, the one I want to focus on today is their conduct after they had visited the manger and saw with their own eyes the baby Jesus.
The scripture reference today tells us that they left praising God for all they had seen and were shown. Praising God. I have talked about this many times in the past, and will continue to talk about it because it is one element of our faith that we just don't practice enough. So much of our prayer time, so much of our focus is on our problems and circumstances, that we often forget to spend time each day just thanking and praising God for all that He does for us each and every day.
Over these past 160 months, we have been blessed to archive over 7 million praise reports from those who have come to us for prayer in their time of need.
"I'm happy to inform you by God's amazing grace that I had a successful surgery on 21 Nov. My doctor removed the fibroid only and there is no cancer. My uterus and ovaries are left intact in my body. I'm back home and recovering well."
"I was given an extension on my house. God is wonderful. I will try and make the best of the time that they have given me. Thank you for your prayers and words of encouragement!" "I prayed the salvation prayer dedicating my life to the Lord. Praise Jesus!!!"
"I wanted to let you know that my husband Jan got a good report from his scans. The doctor says "No Cancer!" We are so thankful. Thank you for your prayers Brother Keller."
Everyday we get incredible praise reports of how God has touched lives and worked miracles in millions of people who have visited Liveprayer during a time of great need in their life.
I want to encourage you today to learn from the shepherds and never neglect to thank God for all He does for you each and everyday. Blessings that you take for granted. It is through your praise, through you telling others all that God has done for you, that they might increase their faith to allow God to work in their life. Your praise report gives others going through the same situation the hope and strength to go on, trusting God for their miracle.
***Hope is the greatest gift you can give to another person, and our hope is in Jesus Christ!!!
I love you and care about you so much. I pray today that you will not forget to give God the praise He deserves each and everyday. I appreciate more than you can know the praise reports that we get everyday because that keeps all of us here at Liveprayer encouraged. God not only hears our prayers, but answers our prayers!
My challenge to you today is to be like the shepherds. God blesses you so that you can share His blessings with others, to encourage them! Be like the shepherds and tell those you meet along the path of your life about this wonderful friend you have named Jesus Christ!
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ,